A Chinese renewable energy researcher announced that the country could possibly smash its solar power goals more than fivefold - and possibly tenfold - above the original plans for progress by 2020.
Wang Zhongying, assistant director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), says that the original 2007 goal of installing 1,800 megawatts of renewable solar energy by 2020 was far below what they now hope to attain.
"China could reach 10,000 MW or higher, maybe 20,000 MW," Zhongying told the audience at a solar energy conference in Shanghai. The figures are surely speculative, as Zhongying admits, and do not represent official Chinese targets.
Zhongying said that an ambitious international proposal for countries to generate 1 percent of electricity from solar by 2020 would require China to generate 40,000 MW by then, a goal that Zhongying said was too high.
Reaching even 20,000 MW by then will be a challenge for China, which had less than 100 MW of solar capacity hooked up to its electricity grid at the end of 2008, representing 0.01 percent of China's entire installed capacity.
China is currently relying on coal for around 80 percent of its power generation, but the government is set to reveal an economic stimulus package for renewable energy in the next few months. Chinese officials are also working to finalize plans to subsidize pilot solar power projects later this year.
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